Tales from Planet Earth Film Series

Breaking Trail Film Screening and Discussion with Emily Ford

February 7
UW South Madison Partnership
2238 S. Park St., Madison

February 8
Marquee Theater, Union South
1308 W. Dayton St., Madison

Both screenings start at 7 p.m.

Be sure to check out our partner events inspired by Breaking Trail

Tales From Planet Earth film seriesWe invite you to join the Nelson Institute for a screening and discussion of the film Breaking Trail, which follows Emily Ford as she becomes the first woman and person of color to embark on a thru-hike, or point to point, of the Ice Age Trail in winter. This Tales from Planet Earth Film Series event will feature a special discussion with Ford and James Edward Mills, Nelson Institute community partnership liaison. Together they will explore Ford’s journey with her sled dog Diggins and the ways this experience tested their endurance, while also showcasing the unexpected kindness of strangers.

We are excited to host two opportunities to screen the film including a showing at the UW South Madison Partnership location to increase access for our south Madison neighbors.

Please register to secure your spot:

February 7February 8

Per campus policy, masks will be required for this event.

About Emily Ford

Emily Ford grew up in the suburbs of the Twin Cities, went to Gustavus Adolphus College, and promptly moved to Duluth, Minnesota, after finishing her geology degree. Moving to Duluth inspired her to get out and backpack (especially after getting her first pup, Zulu).

Emily Ford’s adventures are sponsored in part by Baffin Outdoor Apparel.

She is now the head gardener of the historic house museum, Glensheen. Since she is laid off for three months in the winter, she spends her time in the snow.

In the winter of 2020-2021, she completed the 1,200-mile National Scenic Ice Age Trail with her second dog, Diggins. She continues to get out in the winter hoping to break down barriers for other people of color in the outdoors.

Partner Events

Many of our Tales from Planet Earth Film Series partners will be hosting events inspired by Breaking Trail. We invite you to attend these free events where you can connect with the community while enjoying all that the outdoors have to offer.

Meet and Greet with Emily Ford

February 7, 2–5 p.m.
Ice Age Trail Trailhead
Prairie Moraine County Park
6679 Wesner Lane, Verona

Hosted by the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Explore the Verona segment of the Ice Age Trail on your own.

Meet and Greet with Emily Ford and Winter Hike

February 8, 3–5 p.m.
Mendota Lodge, Memorial Union
800 Langdon St., Madison

Hosted by the Wisconsin Hoofers Outing Club. Meet Emily Ford from 3 to 4 p.m., and then join a guided snowshoe or hike on the lake from 4 to 5 p.m. Free snowshoe rental available as part of the Wisconsin Union Winter Carnival.

Pre-Screening Reception with Emily Ford

February 8, 6–6:45 p.m.
Social Justice Hub Office (to the right of the Marquee Theatre at Union South)

Hosted by the Social Justice Hub.

Breaking Trail Guided Hikes and Open House

February 13, 12:30–4 p.m.
UW-Madison Arboretum
1207 Seminole Highway, Madison

Learn about outdoor recreation opportunities from our Tales from Planet Earth Breaking Trail event partners and join guided hikes through the Arboretum (1-2 p.m.). Refreshments provided. Registration requested to save your spot for the guided hikes.

Contributing Partners

Center for Culture, History, and Environment

Social Justice Hub

South Madison Partnership

UW-Madison Arboretum

In Partnership with

Help Support this Event

The Nelson Institute is pleased to offer a wide variety of free public programs, lectures, and events, demonstrating our commitment and dedication to the Wisconsin Idea: the principle that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

Tales from Planet Earth films are selected to feature compelling narratives of the work of scholars and community organizations advocating for environmental and social justice.

Give now


Feb 7 - 8 2022


7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

More Info



See event details


Alessandra Rella
(608) 265-0521